Of, relating to, or being the grammatical case that marks the recipient of action, that often indicates the indirect object of the verb, and that can be used with prepositions or other function words corresponding in meaning to English to and for.
1. The dative case.
2. A word or form in the dative case.
[Middle English datif, from Latin (cāsus) datīvus, (case) of giving (translation of Greek dotikē ptōsis), from datus, past participle of dare, to give; see dō- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.